Bible Reading Plan 2021

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Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.  Jeremiah 15:16


Welcome to the end of 2020.  For many, 2020 has been a difficult year, and most are ready to put it behind us.  2021 likely will not begin any better than 2020 has ended, but we pray for better days ahead.  As we turn the year, I encourage you to turn your attention to the Word of God.  Are you looking for hope?  The Word of God speaks of it.  Are you looking for instruction on what to do next?  The Word of God gives it.  Are you looking for answers to hard questions?  The Word of God is sufficient.  The Word of God contains all we need to move forward.  But where do you start? 

Let me share a few thoughts on how to begin reading the Word of God so you don’t miss what God has for you. 


  1. Find a time and place that works for you. Each day can bring different challenges and schedules, but we all have routines and habits that are fixed.  Can you find 15 minutes in your day to read the Bible without distraction?  I find early morning works best for me. 

  2. Set a reminder on your phone if you have difficulty remembering to make the time. Our days certainly can become busy with many things.  As you begin to build this habit into your day, an alarm can be a helpful tool. 

  3. Choose a reading plan. So many have a hard time deciding where to start reading in the Bible.  You can start with any book really, but it’s important to pace yourself.  Don’t read too much at one time.  Instead, choose to read one chapter a day. 

    Bethel Church offers a reading plan on the website that you can follow.  This year it starts in Ezra and Matthew.  Over the year you’ll read half of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament.  You can find the plan here.  I encourage you to save this link to your homepage (on your phone, tablet, or desktop). 

  4. Keep going when you miss a day. Don’t let guilt or worry overwhelm you if sleep through your phone reminder, or your day was so busy you didn’t find the time.  Instead, start again the next day.  If you’ve missed several days of your reading plan and gotten behind, don’t worry about catching up.  Simply continue with today’s reading.  It’s not about getting through the plan, but what God is getting through to you. 

  5. Read the Bible for all its worth. As you read today’s passage, here a few tips to understand what it means. 

    First, read it with focus.  Don’t let your mind wander, or your eyes glaze over.  If you can’t focus now, come back to it later.  Keep a notepad nearby to write down those things you don’t want to forget. 

    Second, examine the passage.  Look for the people you meet in the passage, and what they are doing.  What’s happening in the passage, and why?  What is God doing in the passage?  How did God relate to the people in the passage?  How did the people relate to God and one another?  Asking questions like these help you unpack what is happening in the Scriptures. 

    Third, apply the truth of God’s Word to your life.  As you understand what is happening in the passage, its important to understand how it makes a difference in your life today.  Is there a command we should obey? Is there an attitude we should have?  Is there a sin to confess?  Is there an example we should follow?  God’s Word shows us what is right, what is wrong, how to get it right and how to keep it right. 

    Finally, do what it says.  God expects us to live out what He teaches us in His word.  It’s not enough to simply know it.  We must do it.  What does the passage demand of you?  What is your next step to make sure you do it? 

These are just a few small tips on starting 2021 in God’s Word.  I encourage you to build these habits into your life, and to share them with someone else.  As you read the Word of God, share what you learn with a friend.  Invite them to join with you in reading the plan you’ve chosen.  As you do God will grow each of you in the truth. 



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